The Catalyst 2030 Rwanda Chapter is on the move. Since it launched in mid-2022, the chapter has undertaken two community outreach programmes, hosted a successful Conversation Café with Rwandan NGOs and social enterprises and sent delegates to national community dialogues and conferences. The Café led to new Catalyst 2030 applications, nearly doubling the original 14-strong chapter membership.
Inspiring 1000 high school students with entrepreneurship
Its first outreach programme was in Kigali where 1000 high school students were introduced to social entrepreneurship. With 40% of the Rwandan population under 15 and 78% under 35, the formal job market and higher education are options available only to a few. Given its young and booming population, entrepreneurs are vital to meet the need for livelihood creation and the reduction of poverty across all sectors, as well as for the creation of new products and services in health, education and agriculture, for example. The students were inspired and want to learn more.
Seed funding for micro-businesses
The second outreach trip undertaken was to a disability self-help group in the Musanze District in northern Rwanda which needed seed funding for members to start micro-businesses. People with physical disabilities have numerous difficulties navigating rural areas and being economically active. Those with disabilities such as deafness, blindness or mental illness are perceived as being possessed by demons.
During the visit, community participants broke into four small groups to discuss their biggest challenges with chapter members and what help they needed most. They also spoke about their seemingly intractable everyday problems and lack of support from the government. It is hoped that the seed funding will help the participants create much-needed extra income while increasing their self-confidence.